Iron sharpens iron…

This one is for the ladies. A potentially triggering post on human expectations.

Tell me if I am wrong.

You can be a top-notch human being with the XX chromosome and cook, clean, raise the children properly, stay hydrated, mind your damn business, fight to protect yourself, secure the bag, fulfil your dreams, do squats, destroy the patriarchy, pray, moisturize, be a role model, protect yourself, be a sex goddess, read books, top your career field, manage mood swings, puff up a sada roti, shatter the glass ceiling, practise self-care, check in with your friends, do your Kegels, decide what you want to eat when prompted and people will STILL side-eye you and have an opinion on how you should live, sometimes even boldly taking up said issue with you.

Tell me I’m wrong

I realize that people love to make pronouncements on a woman’s life just because it is the historically, socially and (especially in Trinidad and Tobago) culturally acceptable thing to do. Sadly, a lot of these pronouncements come from women as well, a thing of wonder, as if we don’t have to fight up enough while being considered the weaker sex. This idea that people are just free to express themselves and say whatever they want to women without responsibility, measured compassion or the faintest of consideration is mind-boggling. The gag is however, armed with this knowledge, you are free to measure out your own response as you see fit against whomever you are defending yourself for the sake of your sanity.

So if you are:

Single and they’re asking you why you still single,

Single with child/children and they’re asking “where de father?”,

Single with child/children and dating and they’re wondering what example you’re setting,

With someone and they’re asking why you’re with that person (“you could do so much better!”),

With someone and they’re asking when you getting married (“you eh lock he down yet?”),

Married without children and they’re asking when the children coming,

Married with one child and they’re asking when you making the rest (“The child will be lonely!”),

Mastering your career/business and they consider you a failure because you’re not with someone or married (“all ah dat and she cyah find a man yet”),

Mastering your career/business and they think you are selfish for not having children,

Not wanting children and they also think you are selfish for being as you are,

Actually wanting more than the usual three or four children and they think you are crazy/in a cult,

With someone of your race………

With someone of another race…….

Happily working in a field and they’re wondering how much money you could possibly be making,

Struggling with fertility and they’re thinking you are an alien,

Struggling with weight issues and they’re asking if you’re pregnant,

Struggling with weight issues and they’re thinking you have AIDS or a demon inside you and you need deliverance (“You eh see how she drying up?),

High maintenance and they’re whispering “who she feel she is?”,

Not as high maintenance and they wonder “oh gosh, you hadda be looking drag up so?”,

chances are you have felt the disdain. The statements and questions are just put out there into the universe without consideration of what women are going through in their personal situations and even more within their mental and emotional spaces!

Man, I could go on, but the main take away here is you CYANNOT please everyone so why waste precious brain cells trying to think that you can? The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. We are put here on this earthly space to sharpen each other, to encourage each other, to gas each other up and (to completely mash up this metaphor), to ensure that we are all acute and razor-edged to glint in the freaking sun.

To my sisters, just remember nobody is running your life’s race but you and I am yet to see a race ran with athletes taking the exact, same stride from the gun blast to the ribbon. So be kind to yourself and protect your head space. Find those around you who keep you sharp and keep them close. As for the others who want to dull your shine and keep you matte and muted because of how they perceive your life is to be led, your responses could range from the silent, to the polite, to the sarcastic, to the IDGAF.

The IDGAF

Blessings

TMIDM

I see you

To:

the woman who feels she is never enough,

the woman who feels she does too much,

the woman who plods along to keep it running,

the woman who pauses to breathe before the choke comes,

the woman who decides to say “Fuck It”,

the woman who decides to try for the millionth time,

the woman who practises that smile before unleashing it,

the woman who blots the tears before they roll down,

the woman whose children see the brave face more than the real face,

the woman who decided that #selfcare is a beautiful thing,

the woman who values her solitude,

the woman who values her friendships,

the woman who values herself,

the woman who is the early bird,

the woman who is the night owl,

the woman who anticipates the worst,

the woman who hopes for the best,

the woman whose routine stifles her,

the woman who found her outlet,

the woman who is chastised for going against the norm,

the woman who is fine just being okay,

the woman who makes her decisions and sticks to them,

the woman who is afraid to jump,

the woman whose mind has several tabs open,

the woman who can drain her mind,

the woman who knows what love is and feels it,

the woman who doesn’t feel love and she knows it,

I see you.

TMIDM

 

 

My Girl

When I was pregnant in 2008 and told my close friends that I was having a girl, most, if not all, erupted in the “Hm! You will meet your match!” sentiment. I have no idea why. Indeed when Mam’zelle was born there was a different feeling that I got as opposed to when I had my son almost three years prior. My mind churned with all the things I needed her to know about life and living in the world as a girl/woman. I wish I could have just opened up her head and poured all the wisdom and knowledge inside so she could be prepared for what’s out there.

As she grew into her own person, she became very unlike myself in many ways. As a child I was mild-mannered, afraid to rock the boat or break the rules, played quietly with my dolls and could spend hours to a day in a book. She always had a retort, did not like to read, she moved about indignantly when she was upset, was impatient with schoolwork and deliberate when she did stuff to get in trouble. This was unnerving to me and especially infuriating to my mother as my younger sister and I were not like this (and of course naturally, my parenting skills came into question).

I have largely guided my daughter within her own convictions to ensure that even with her personality, she must get the value systems correct even if I have to drill it into her even more so than I had to do with my son. So with things like honesty, compassion and patience, there is greater need for the sitting and the talking. I have long accepted that although it is indeed more work, it is necessary work. I try my utmost not to compare but there are weak moments where as a parent I think the familiar ‘why can’t you behave like your brother/sister?!’ If you are a parent of children with different personalities and you tell me this thought has never crossed your  mind, your pants are on fire.

More and more these days, I look at Mam’zelle and honestly, if  I was worried that seeing our differences would lead to difficulties, recognizing some of our similarities is downright terrifying. She’s nine now and sometimes I see a lot of my childhood/adolescent insecurities in her. Physically my daughter is like me, a thick girl with thick legs and a large posterior which she’s very conscious of, especially as she does swimming and ballet. (In my youth, countless were the times I was told to ‘tuck in the butt!’ while I was at the barre).  She doesn’t like not knowing something even if it’s something she should not know as yet. When she’s doing something she’s unsure of, there’s an anxiety that shadows her face, her palms sweat and her hands shake. She wants to know that everybody around her is happy with her and sometimes loses herself to make sure that this happens. All of these are familiar to me and there are times when I want to tell her DON’T DO THAT!/DON’T FEEL LIKE THAT! but I know deep down that each of us has to grow as we learn, including her.

A couple of years ago she got really sick and at a particular point I was helpless. It was the absolute lowest point of my existence and I desperately cried out to God that if He pulled her through, I would raise her to be a dynamic one and I would fiercely protect her with all my being until He was ready to call her home. I am more protective of her since then and I’m completely OK with that.  I drag her everywhere and let her know about the sacredness of female relationships even in the face of male-female relationships. She knows when she can be vocal and is learning about when she has to dial it back a bit to silence according to the situation. I impress upon her that her existence is vital and her place in the world is secure and even if I am not there to guide her, she must be sensible enough to know how to position herself. Conventional wisdom dictates that you don’t help the butterfly out of the cocoon, the struggle is what makes it strong enough to fly right?

I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter and my mission is to make sure that I take her from a happy, carefree, strong girl to a spirited, compassionate young woman and thankfully, my girl is well on her way.

Bless up

TMIDM